AN: I asked a (rhetorical)question when I posted this chapter on my LJ - will I lose readers because this sequel, unlike it's predecessor which had a much older and more experienced Buffy who was already in love with Spike, has no sex in these early chapters? What do you guys think? Were the readers of the first fic reading because they liked the story, or because they couldn't wait to find out where or how Buffy was going to molest Spike the next time? LOL
Buffy stopped chewing her mouthful of hamburger and gaped at her undead companion who had just popped a frenchfry into his mouth. She tried to speak, almost choking when she inhaled, forgetting that she had a mouth full of unchewed food. Swallowing quickly, she tried again.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” she insisted as though he was already arguing with her. “You’re telling me that I’m – that some older me is living in my body back in my house with my mother while I’m stuck here in this weird place because Willow – my Willow? – did a spell?”
“As near as we could figure out, pet. That’s what you…she... says must have happened. Seems like you were pretty unhappy, and the witch probably thought that she could magic you back into being your perky little self.”
“What could have made me so unhappy that Willow would do a spell without my permission?”
He rolled his eyes, remembering some of the things Buffy had told him about future Willow and her power trips. Then he remembered all the things that could bring tears to “his” Buffy’s eyes so easily and his face softened.
“I don’t think you really need to know all that just now, luv. Could be that none of it’s gonna happen here, and no sense your getting all teary-eyed over nothin’”
“How old am – was I? In your world. How old did you say that Buffy said she was?”
“Said she was twenty-three. But she was in another body when I saw her, so she didn’t look it. Not ‘less you looked into her eyes…” He gazed off into the distance for a few seconds, remembering the slayer who had defeated him so often.
“My body,” Buffy said flatly. “She was in my body.”
He nodded, his attention brought back to the girl across from him.
“Would guess so, luv. The one you’re wearin’ definitely belongs to someone older and stronger…Not that there’s anything wrong with it!” he hastened to assure her when he noticed the disappointed flash of her eyes.
“Spare me,” she snapped. “I’ve got scars I don’t know anything about, I’ve got lines on my face, and I don’t even look in the mirror any more because I don’t know the girl looking back at me.”
Risking a broken hand, he touched her cheek gently and said, “It’s a woman you see lookin’ back at you, luv. One hell of a woman. Strong and smart and just as beautiful as that little girl you left behind.”
His hand dropped before she could complain, and Buffy studied her plate intently - not sure what to make of this unusual vampire and his tale of having met her older self, but more than aware of the intensity in his gaze. Gathering her courage, she raised her eyes to his and asked softly, “Were you…did you… love her? The other Buffy?”
His expression told her that she’d caught him by surprise and she smiled at the panicky look on his face.
“Cat got your tongue?” she asked with a smile.
“My tongue’s right where it belongs, Slayer,” he growled, then smirked and curled it up behind his teeth. “Any time you want to check that out, pet, you jus’ let me know, yeah?”
Her blush was a quick reminder of her real age, and he dropped the leer to laugh at her mortified expression. He knew she hadn’t intended any sexual innuendo with her remark, but he was enjoying her embarrassed concern that he might think she was flirting with him.
He grinned with admiration when her chin came up and she challenged him with “You didn’t answer my question, Spike.”
Biting back an automatic “Bloody hell, no!” he gave her serious question the consideration it deserved. After a few seconds of thought he sighed and shook his head.
“I ‘spect I was workin’ on it. You – she’s a pretty amazing woman. I won’t deny that there was somethin’ there. But I wasn’t ‘her’ Spike, anymore than you are ‘my’ Buffy. And from what she said, he loved her more than I can even imagine. So, the honest answer is no, I didn’t love her – not yet.”
“Not yet?” She struggled to cope with the idea of two Spikes – one falling in love with her and one that had already fallen.
“I’m not her,” she said suddenly, fixing him with a hard stare. “I don’t even know you.”
She blinked in bewildered annoyance as he roared with hearty laughter that eventually tapered off to deep chuckles.
“I had that comin’, didn’t I?” he gasped, still chortling.
“Care to share?” The Slayer tapped her fingers on the formica tabletop in a steadily increasing rhythm.
“You’re not her, love. I know that. But you will be. Someday you will be.” His expression shifted to one of perfect seriousness. “An’ as much as it disturbs me to have to say this, I know you, Slayer.”
“You need to stop saying that.” Buffy’s lip was coming out into a pout that riveted his attention to her mouth. With an effort, he tore his gaze away from the lips he knew so well.
“Oh I don’t think so, love. I owe you some of those.”
“You’re not telling me everything,” she muttered, her lip still in a pout and her brow furrowed. “What aren’t you telling me?”
“There’s nothing else I might have to tell you that you’re gonna want to hear just now. You’ll just have to trust me, pet. Something or somebody has sent us both here – in your case at least, we know it was to make space for an older version of you in whatever dimension we came from. It’s gonna be up to us to suss out what we can do about it.”
He watched as she tried to smother a yawn, smiling at her angry glare when he finished off her fries and stood up. “Come on, luv. I’ll walk you home and you can tell me what you know about this place. Where do the demons hang out? Where’s the nearest bar? I need to find a place to bunk down for the day without catchin’ fire and I might need to follow some other vamps home...”
“Oh, like I’m going to tell you where you can find minions,” she scoffed. “And I don’t know where the bars are because, Hello? Too young to drink?” She waved her hand around for emphasis, but found herself standing up to join him at the door. When he went to put money on the table for her food, he was surprised to find the man behind the cash register waving him off.
“The Slayer’s money is no good in here,” he said cheerfully. “If you want to pay for the fries that you ate, you can catch it the next time.”
The man gave no sign that he had any idea that Spike was not the twenty-something punk that he appeared to be, and the vampire nodded his thanks as he held the door for Buffy. She gave him a suspicious look, but ducked under his arm and exited the building. She began walking down the street rapidly enough so as not to seem to be waiting for him, but not so quickly that he couldn’t catch up with a few long strides.
“So,” he began when she didn’t say anything, “he knows what you are?”
Buffy nodded reluctantly. “He does. Things are a lot more open here than they are back in Sunnydale. There’s no hellmouth to worry about, but there are a lot more vampires and demons and nobody tries to pretend that they don’t exist.” She gave Spike a sideways look. “I’m surprised he didn’t figure you out. He’s usually a lot more savvy than that.”
“It’s my charm and good looks,” Spike said smugly. “Fools ‘em every bloody time.”
Buffy shrugged. “Maybe he just figured if you were with me, you were harmless,” she said, giggling at his outraged, “Not harmless! Master vampire here, you disrespectful bint!”
She was still smiling as she stopped in front of a small house, set in between two apartment buildings. The small bungalow was dwarfed by the several-story high buildings on either side, and it appeared to be abandoned.
“This is where you live?” he asked incredulously, comparing the run down building with the modest, but attractive Summers’ home in Sunnydale.
“Hey! It was free,” she said defensively. “I’d fix it up, but I keep thinking that this is all a dream and I’ll wake up pretty soon; or, if it’s a spell, that Giles will find a way to bring me back.” Her shoulders slumped almost imperceptibly as she finished softly, “I guess that’s not going to happen…”
He shook his head in agreement. “I’m gonna guess it isn’t, pet. For me either, I ‘spect. That’s why I need to spend the rest of the night getting’ my feet on the ground here. Need to figure out what’s what before I make any mistakes that could get me dead.”
Buffy’s skeptical snort made him frown; then he shrugged and admitted, “Deader than I already am, anyway.”
The slayer’s innate fear and distrust of vampires warred silently with the seventeen-year-old’s desire to cling to someone who knew who she was and who knew her family and friends. She studied the vampire’s open face briefly, remembering that he could have killed at least twice already that evening, before mumbling, “I have a basement.”
He gaped at her. “Are you sayin’ what I think you are, Slayer?”
“I’m saying I have a basement. That’s all. If you want…if you don’t find a safe place to stay, you could come back here and spend the day down there. I’ll have to go to work around ten, but you could sleep here.”
“You don’t know me, Buffy. What would possess you to make that kind of an offer to a vamp?” His voice was soft, with just the slightest hint of disapproval in it.
She shrugged, embarrassed that he was telling her what she already should know. “I don’t know. Because you say you know me – and it seems like you do. And because older me didn’t stake you for some reason…and… I don’t know! Look, do you want it or not? I’ll unlock the outside door and lock the one at the top of the stairs, so it’s not like you’ll actually be in my house. Just kinda like…under it.”
He cocked his head at her, waiting until she looked him in the eye to say softly, “You’ll still have to give me an invite, luv. You sure you want to do that?”
“No.” Her lip came out in the familiar pout. “I’m not sure. But I sleep with a stake under my pillow, so if you…”
“Wouldn’t.” His voice was flat and hard. “Would never betray your trust like that, Slayer.”
“Well, okay then. It’s settled. You’ll go do…whatever vampires do when they’re new in town, and when you need to come in, the basement door will be open for you.”
She turned and walked up to her front door, inserting her key and turning the knob. She looked over her shoulder at the still-unbelieving vampire and said quietly, “Come in, Spike.” She stepped inside and waited while he tentatively put one foot over the threshold. As soon as he was sure the barrier was gone, he pulled his foot back and nodded.
“I appreciate it, luv. You go get some sleep – I’ll be back in a few hours, but I’ll be quiet-like so I don’t wake you. Good night, Slay-Buffy.”
“Good night, Spike.”
Making a quick mental note of the address of the house, as well as taking a good look at the tall buildings on each side so that he would have landmarks, Spike began walking briskly in the direction of the lights that would indicate the area of town where he could find some nightlife. He briefly wondered if there had been an alternate Spike in this world, but shrugged it off as irrelevant to anything. (I’m here now and I’ll need to make a quick adjustment if I’m to make the best of it. Finding Buffy right off was a stoke of good luck, but—Bloody hell!)
The sudden realization that there was very little chance it was a coincidence he’d landed in the same cemetery that Buffy was working, had him kicking trash cans and punching street signs as he cursed the PTB and their meddling in the lives of others. For the first time, it occurred to him to wonder what had happened to the Buffy that he’d just left. His first thought when he’d awakened, completely dressed and with no Slayer moving under him, was to wonder if he had dreamed the whole thing. Suddenly, the idea that Buffy could suddenly have found herself clutching empty air made him physically sick for a second.
(You know I wouldn’t have left you like that if I’d been the one in control, don’t you, Buffy? Would never leave you like that, love. Don’t hate me, sweetheart, it wasn’t my doin’ that took me outta there…)
He tried to shrug off the sudden fear that he’d left “his” Buffy alone in her suddenly empty bed, reminding himself of what he’d told this Buffy about being kicked out to make room for some other version of him. Vowing to find a way to let Sunnydale Buffy know where he was as soon as he could, he headed for the nearest demon bar. He entered the dimly lit room and sent his senses out, assessing the customers. The place reminded him of Willy’s bar in Sunnydale – mostly demons, but with the occasional human low-life here and there around the room. He heard the heartbeats accelerate as he paused inside the door and he reveled in the sudden lull in conversation as the customers sized up the newcomer.
He met the gazes of all the demons that seemed willing to meet his eyes and stared them all down, ignoring the humans as not worthy of intimidating. When he felt that he’d made the point about his dominance, he relaxed and walked to an empty table near the bar. He bestowed his most charming smile on the pretty vampire that came over to wait on him, running his eyes appreciatively over her body as he asked her for a bottle of Jack Daniels and settled back to assess the other vampires and demons in the room.
Buffy walked through her nightly routine in zombie-like fashion, her brain whirling with possible explanations for the appearance of the blond vampire and his apparently lack of interest in killing her.
(He says he was falling in love with me-the other Buffy. Does that mean we’re dating? How could I be dating him? What about Angel? I love Angel. I would never dump him for some other vampire…)
Thinking back over their conversations, she realized that Spike had never once mentioned the souled vampire that, up until now, had been her only non-violent contact with the creatures meant to be her prey. Her heart rate increased as she began to imagine all the reasons why he would not have told her about Angel while he was bringing her up to date on her mother and friends.
(Is Angel dust? Or did he break up with me? Is that why I’m with Spike? Because Angel left me? He wouldn’t do that, would he ? He loves me. And I love him. I wouldn’t be dating another vampire. He must be making that part up. He’s jealous of Angel. That’s got to be it.)
Vowing to get Spike to tell her about Angel tomorrow reminded her that she needed to unlock the basement door for the vampire that she was so inexplicably trusting not to creep upstairs and murder her in her sleep. She grabbed an extra pillow and blanket off the bed and padded barefoot down to the dank basement. The lone bulb in the ceiling gave off just enough light to show her the door, the corners of the room remaining shadowed and too dark to identify objects. With her hand on the lock, she stopped and sucked in a deep breath.
(Okay, I’m about to unlock my house and let a vampire, a very strong vampire that I don’t really know, come in whenever he wants to and live down here right under my room. I must be losing my mind.)
A sudden thought caused her heart to speed up as she unlocked the deadbolt and twisted the knob until the door lock clicked open.
(Maybe Spike has his soul too. That must be why I’m trusting him. He didn’t tell me because he assumed I would know that he wasn’t killing me because he has a soul. That’s got to be it. I’ll ask him tomorrow. He’s probably just like Angel.)
She tossed the pillow and blanket onto the middle of the floor where Spike would have no trouble finding them, and hastened back up to the main floor of the house. She hesitated briefly, then firmly shut and locked the door between the stairs and the small, shabby kitchen. At the last second, she took one of the two old wooden chairs that had come with the house and propped it against the doorknob. If she realized the futility of using a flimsy chair and a locked door to keep a powerful master vampire from entering the house whenever and wherever he wanted to, she resolutely pushed it to the back of her mind as she walked the short distance to the bedroom.
She slid into her narrow bed and huddled under the down comforter which had been her only extravagant purchase since she’d suddenly found herself having to buy all her own food, clothing and necessities. The small wages that she earned working in the kitchen of a nearby bar/restaurant barely covered her meals and a minimal amount of clothing. She was being only partially honest with Spike when she said that she hadn’t tried to fix the house up because she wasn’t planning to stay there. The unhappy discovery that wherever she was now had a much cooler climate than sunny southern California meant that much of her first several paychecks had gone to purchase warm, slaying-friendly clothing rather than amenities for the house.
Buffy awoke briefly, just before dawn, her slayer senses screaming that there was a vampire nearby. She was already on her feet, stake in hand, when she realized that someone had just shut the outside door to the basement. After several minutes in which she absorbed the vampire’s signature and recognized it as Spike’s, she got back into bed and tried to get back to sleep. Unconsciously listening for any small sound that would indicate that the vampire was not staying downstairs, she was a long time relaxing enough to fall back into a fitful sleep, her hand still clutching the stake.
If you are under the age of 17, please use your head and do not read fics that are labeled "NC-17". Parents, I cannot control what your children are reading, so please be advised that the majority of the fics archived here are NOT suitable for those under the age of 17.
I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I am in no way making any profit from this site. This is for pure entertainment purposes only.
Concept: (c)bringonthebloodshed.com (2004), Code & Design: (c)Diabola (2006), Graphics: Selene & Always